Wash your hands, and watch a vortex

A new faucet created by French designer Philippe Stark is set to bring a lot more wow to washing up.

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Is that a vortex in your bathroom? Axor / Hansgrohe

I don't know about you, but I've always found hand washing a bit boring. There's the soap. The water. The towel. Meh.

But I think I'd enjoy the process a lot more if I had one of these new faucets installed atop my sink. It's called the Axor Starck V, and it whips the flow from the hot and cold lines into a super cool tornado-like vortex that you can see because it's made of completely clear crystal glass.

As you might have guessed by its name, the faucet has been created by Philippe Starck, who's no stranger to making awesome gear like headphones, speakers, and even a novel way to get drunk.

He worked with the Axor brand of German company Hansgrohe to develop the flashy faucet. "The vortex phenomenon has occupied my father Klaus Grohe for several years," Axor's Philippe Grohe said in a statement. "His intuition that water could visibly be brought to the foreground through the vortex, was the starting point in the development of Axor Starck V. In our long-time friend Philippe Starck, we not only found the perfect design partner to create a shape around the vortex, but also a valuable sparring partner in the developmental process."

The company doesn't give away the secret of how the faucet works, but I think it has something to do with the fact that the two guys working on the project were both named Philippe. That, and magic.

They do say that the faucet pops off for easy cleaning and that it can be swiveled, which "allows for a better view of the vortex." They also say, "before the eyes of the user, the upward, swirling motion of water through the mixer's body and its 'free-fall' into the washbasin trigger a feeling of joy and happiness." I'm not so sure about that, but I do think that it's an awesome gadget for getting perpetually sticky-fingered kids to really enjoy washing their hands. (Oh and, um, me too.)

It's not available yet in the US, but you can keep your vortex-loving eyes on their Web site for updates.

(Hansgrohe via Gizmodo)

About the author

Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for Crave and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.

 

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